The Israeli Football Association has been criticised for its inaction after video footage emerged of footballers appearing to sexually abuse an unconscious woman.
Antony Varenne was filmed performing sexual acts on a woman who appeared to have passed out, while singing and mocking her. The striker now plays for Beitar Jerusalem FC, although it appears the footage was taken a few years ago, before he joined the team. The other players in the video have not yet been named.
The French-Israeli forward reportedly told his team-mates that he was “embarrassed and sorry. I made a mistake.”
He told Mako News, the Israeli sports website, that he would “have to live with the shame all my life”.
However, the IFA released a statement saying that, after seeking legal advice, they had decided not to summon the player for a disciplinary hearing.
But the statement also added: “we expect soccer players, and everyone else, to behave properly and with respect.”
Beitar Jerusalem indicated it too would not be taking any action against the player, who is still in the squad for the club’s next game tomorrow.
Michal Rozin, MK for the left-wing Meretz party, described the IFA’s response as “quibbling and twisting.
“Worse, the team not only did not produce a proper condemnation, they announced that he [Varenne] would play on Saturday.”
Ms Rozjn called for Varenne to be fired and his behaviour to be condemned.
“Any other conduct is a green light for violence against women,” she said.